By Nathan Pilling
XENIA — Greene County Sheriff’s deputies confiscated more than 170 weapons – some of which may be fully automatic – and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition from a Spring Valley Township residence this week, the sheriff’s office announced Friday.
Deputies seized the weapons from 2302 Schnebly Road, Spring Valley Township, while executing a search warrant related to a criminal charge against the property owner, Joel Montgomery, 46.
According to Greene County Sheriff’s Major Rick Bowman, deputies had originally been dispatched to a neighboring residence on the report of property damage June 5.
“The owner’s motorcycle trailer had been shot, a truck adjacent to the trailer had been shot and an entry door to his garage had been shot,” Bowman said. “[Montgomery] was shooting probably without the proper backstop, and the rounds were traveling off his property.”
Montgomery was subsequently charged with criminal damaging, to which he pleaded not guilty in Xenia Municipal Court June 23. Authorities served a search warrant on the house Wednesday, where they found the weapons and ammunition.
“There were weapons present that we believe [have] the possibility of being fully automatic weapons,” Bowman said. “We are very early on in the investigation, evaluating items recovered as a result of the search warrant, and no arrests have been made at this time….”
Additionally, Bowman announced that during the search, deputies located “items that we were not familiar with,” which prompted them to contact the Dayton Bomb Squad.
“It is our understanding the items could have been explosive devices if the right fuel compounds were present,” Bowman said before noting that those fuel compounds were not located during the search warrant.
According to Bowman, the sheriff’s office is investigating the weapons with the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to determine if there were any Federal Firearms Act violations present in relation to Montgomery’s possession of the firearms.
“This isn’t probably what you would find as a normal firearms, sports enthusiast,” Bowman said. “I think it goes a little bit beyond that. I’m not saying that these can’t be legally owned. It’s just that certain criteria have to be met to legally own them. We’re not at that point in our investigation to know whether he has that authorization.”
Attempts to contact Montgomery were unsuccessful Friday.
Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.